I lead a vegan, gluten, and sugar free lifestyle.
So what do you even eat…?
I get this question a lot, so I thought it would be interesting to share what some of my favorite foods and brands are.
Most of the foods I avoid are due to allergies, IBS, and celiac disease.
Even so, I have learned to love my diet because it makes me feel my best, fuels my body, and gives me lots of energy!
#1 Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts have come to hold a special place in my heart. I have been obsessed with them for a little over a year now, as one of my college roommates introduced me to their amazingness.
When cooking Brussel sprouts, I typically:
- Cut them in half
- Add mushrooms
- Add onion (red or white)
- Add tomato
- Add jalapeno pepper
- Add kalamata olives
- Lastly, add olive oil, salt, pepper and water ALL IN ONE PAN.
*The water is a key ingredient because it makes the brussels nice and soft. Also, the added olive oil makes the onion caramelize and thus delicious.
FUN FACT: Did you know that this is how Brussel sprouts grow?
#2 Olive Oil
Olive oil is my butter, my salad dressing, my “Pam” substitute when cooking. It is the most basic and necessary healthy fat that I consume; olive oil is my everything. There are not enough metaphors to even begin to explain how olive oil has helped me survive being vegan and having so many allergies. None of my recipes can be made without it and it is an essential ingredient.
This is the kind I prefer to buy:
Since becoming vegan (while also being gluten free), I have been deprived of most crunchy snacks. Samantha introduced me to HIPPEAS this past winter and I fell in love with them instantly. Because they are made with chickpeas, the same ingredient in hummus (more on hummus in #4), they have a really unique consistency. The White Cheddar flavor reminds me of the Cheetos I used to eat as a child.
After Samantha introduced me to them, I splurged and bought a BUNCH (pictured above). They are available at Whole Foods, most Starbucks, and you can order them from Amazon by clicking the link below:
One of the my favorite things about hummus is that I can dip practically anything edible in it and it will taste good. Something I do often is make soups and have rice cakes and hummus on the side. The chill of the hummus contrasts nicely with warm soup; it is very refreshing.
Another thing I like to do, that Samantha refers to as a “chickpea explosion!” is I dip HIPPEAS in hummus; it is delicious! I really like all kinds of hummus and I have been trying out more flavors lately because so many have been coming out that do not conflict with any of my allergies or preferences. Cedars is my favorite brand; the best flavors I have tried thus far are Sundried Tomato Basil or the Artichoke Kalamata.
I am quite upset to say that I just recently discovered quinoa and all of its greatness. My friend made it on a trip and I was perplexed by how fast, easy, and simple it was! I instantly bought some and tried making it myself. Not only was the process of preparing it straightforward, but it also tastes delicious. I often make it with brussel sprouts, and sometimes even alone as a snack.
I prefer the white grains to the brown, but I also enjoy them mixed. I have discovered that the brown grains do not soak up water as easily as the white grains. Add a little olive oil, salt, and pepper to the quinoa and VOILA!
Some quinoa contains gluten, so I am extra careful to buy only brands that I trust and packaging that has gluten free labeling. Ancient Harvest is my favorite brand (link below).
#6 TAZA 95 Dark Chocolate
Due to being sugar free, I do not eat any candy. However, this dark chocolate has made my life so much better because it contains only two ingredients: organic cacao beans and the most infinitesimal amount of organic cane sugar. I love to munch on this when I am craving something sweet!